A/N: This starts at the Pi Sig frat party in episode 3x09 Spit and Eggs. I switched up some of the dialog. What if what happened to Veronica…happened to Mac?

The Pros and Cons of Breathing
Part One

"Please Mac," Veronica begged.

"No." Mac said strictly.

"But, but I neeeeeed you."

"Begging doesn't seem to suit you Mars." Wallace shook his head.

"It doesn't." Mac shook her head also.

"What if I said I needed you?" Veronica smiled angelic like, which so did not fool Mac.

"Nu-uh. You don't get to play that card with me!" Mac stood and walked over to her bed and sat cross legged there.

"But I always win with this card; I can see you folding already. Should I continue with the pout?" Veronica pushed her lips into a precious pout that she knew Mac could not resist.

"Resistance…is futile." Mac closed her eyes shut, throwing herself backwards onto her bed. Veronica stood up in joy, jumping on top of Mac, hugging her.

"Oh thank you kind, kind friend!" Veronica sang.

"Wallace! Help!" Mac mumbled under Veronica.

"Nah, I think I will head off to class. See you two at the party tonight." Wallace chuckled, heading to the door.

"You suck Fennel! And to think, I was going to wear my porn star tube top for you tonight!" Mac yelled.

"Ghostworld owns a tube top?"

Mac sat up and practically threw Veronica off her bed and sat up to see if Dick was really in her dorm room or if she had been dreaming again.

"Better yet, is this pillow fight time? Can I watch?"

He talks. So he must be really there. "Dick. Out." Mac pointed her finger out the door, glaring at him.

Veronica stood up and patted Mac's head. "Down Macksters, we don't need to hide our love."

Dick's jaw dropped.

"Oh Dick, pick your jaw up off the floor, you look so gullible." Veronica shook her head and walked out of Mac's room but before she disappeared she hollered back. "So, see you at nine o'clock sharp right Mac?"

Mac just snapped her right hand and then pointed to Veronica, nodding while she did it.

"So you're into girls now? That's hot." Dick grinned, sticking his hands into his pockets and looking around Mac and Parker's room. His eyes almost blinded while looking into Parker's half. Too. Much. Pink. Nuff said.

"Why are you here Dick?" Mac asked, glaring at the back of Dick's head.

Dick spun around on his heel and grinned at Mac. "I am here because I need your help."

"What did you do now?" Mac squinted at Dick.

"I didn't…what? No. I just, my computer kinda died or something and I need someone with expertise with those things to boot it up."

"Boot it up?" Mac raised her eyebrows.

"Or fix it, whatever you dork geek's call it." Dick waved his hand towards Mac's computer.

Mac sat there for a moment, thinking it over. "My starting price is fifty bucks. If there is more to do I will ask for more. Oh and for every time you call a geek or any variation of the word I add twenty dollars to your overall total. So tomorrow I am expecting a check for seventy dollars." Mac stood, grabbing her book bag. "Now if you need to talk more or whatever, walk with me I have a class in ten." Mac grabbed her keys and started for the door, Dick following suit.

"I have a class too, so I will walk." Dick ruffled his hair.

"Where are your books?" Mac scrunched her brows.

Dick looked around and then grinned. "Opps, I forgot them. Guess I will talk to you tomorrow?" He started walking backwards to the other stair well.

"Yeah, sure. Later." Mac walked off.

"Okay, just so we are clear, these coasters detect whether a drink is laced or not." Veronica explained as she handed out coasters to Mac, Wallace and Piz. "If you find a girl that looks out the iffy side simply dip this in her drink."

"What if I want to dance or I dunno hang out?" Wallace asked.

"Fine, then hang, dance the ladies across the grass but know that you were a subject helping out the rapist get to his prey quicker." Veronica smiled.

"That sorta takes the fun out of it all." Piz said.

Veronica just shrugged. "It's your life."

"Since when?" Mac asked dryly.

Everyone started cracking up with laughter.

"Don't go all bitchy McBitchy on me M." Veronica stuck her tongue out.

Mac took her coaster and the fake I.D. Veronica made for her and walked into the Pi Sig house. The music was loud and it was rather hot inside. Veronica and Wallace had made their way to Chip Diller and Piz made his way to the keg; leaving Mac all by herself.


Mac swung around quickly, almost falling over.

"Whoa there," Dick laughed helping her steady herself.

Mac stood up straightly and smiled. "Thanks," She looked around. This was awkward. Yep. But why was it awkward?

"So I didn't know you were coming to the party. Why didn't you tell me earlier?" Dick asked looking at his feet.

Mac bit her lip and searched for an explanation. Quite frankly she didn't think he'd care. "Oh it slipped my mind." She rushed out and then looked around, searching for an out.

"Oh, well maybe later when I get bored with this thing you could look at my computer?" Dick asked, smiling softly.

"I would but I am kind of helping Veronica with a case." Mac answered, wishing-for some reason-that she wasn't on a case.

"Oh," Dick masked a face of disappointment. "What's the case?" He asked nonchalantly.

"You didn't read it in the Lampoon? The Hearst rapist announced his next victim will be at this party. V is convinced he is here and called upon her dutiful companions to help her." Mac grinned but Dick could tell she wasn't happy doing it.

"Why don't you just tell her no?" Dick asked like it was the easiest thing in the world.

Mac raised her eyebrows and Dick found it hard not to stare into her eyes. "Have you ever found it in you to deny the Queen Mars?"

Dick nodded and tilted his head, laughing. "I guess you got me there." He was about to walk off but stopped. "Be careful Mac, if anything happens or you…I dunno...get spooked come get me alright?"

Mac studied his eyes and nodded, smiling slightly before walking off to find Wallace.

Dick watched her walk away and then took off in search for Veronica.

"Hey Ronnie you've got a lot of nerve." Dick said sternly brushing his bangs out of his face.

"Hello to you too Dick. Now what's this about me having nerve and a lot of it?" Veronica crossed her arms.

"Making M…your friends do your dirty work for you?" Dick muttered.

"Um, yeah? They like to help me…" Veronica answered squinting her eyes at Dick.

"Mackie…she…she isn't like you. Alright. She isn't all…" Dick stuttered.

"Mac isn't all what? What are you talking about Dick?" Dick was confusing the hell and scaring the hell out of Veronica. Was Dick admitting he cared for Mac? Was worried for her? He had to know she wasn't putting Mac in immediate danger.

"She is fragile damnit! She is still dealing, she doesn't need to be chasing a fucking rapist while she is getting over one!" Dick shouted and walked off.

Veronica blinked a few times before walking off as well, thinking to herself how did Dick know Mac is still dealing and Veronica didn't? He has barely spoken anything to her since that night where he was at her dorm door spitting out rude remarks.

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